We are currently closed – sorry!

Sadly we have had to close the work. This has not been something we have wanted to do, but over the past 12 months, we have been praying for the Lord to show us his will for the work here – and we believe he has!

Sadly, it wasn’t in the way we hoped or expected. The short version is that a number of our members have had to move away, for all sorts of reasons (all of them good!) And we were starting to run out of people!

We asked for the Lord to guide us – and as a church we were united in taking this decision – so we know that whatever is next for us all we can trust his wisdom, love and grace as we follow him into the future.

If you need a really great church locally we suggest HOPE CHURCH GRAVESEND. It’s a lovely fellowship, with a real mixture of cultures, ages and stages who love Jesus and his Word – and who want to reach out to their local community. Please check out their website – link below –

https://www.hopechurch.org.uk/

Don’t Look Up! (And why I feel burdened most days.)

Imagine knowing that the world was going to end, having credible proof and telling lots of people about it – only for them to ignore you, attack you or even turn you into a meme! That’s the premise for the Netflix movie, “Don’t Look Up.” Without giving away any spoilers, it’s about a big “Planet-Killing” asteroid that’s heading for earth in 6 months time.

The movie is in turns comical, cynical, hysterical and downright miserable. It also has a pathological infatuation with the f-word which is as needless and annoying as ever. But despite that, it packs a punch and has a message that might be worth listening to.

In the end, Netflix comes to the conclusion that human beings are too stupid, too busy and too selfish to ever make the right choices and save our world.

Sound familiar? At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Tell me about it! Climate Change is destroying our world and people aren’t really taking it seriously enough!”

You’d be wrong.

Well, you’re right about Climate Change (probably, just to keep everyone happy).

But you’re wrong about the planet-killer that’s coming. And you’d be wrong about why I personally feel so burdened every single day.

When I speak to most people about Jesus, they often smile, laugh, nod, ignore and go back to their lives. Despite me urging them to “Look UP!” Despite the patently obvious truth that one day they will die. Despite the clear evidence that this world is NOT anywhere remotely close to heaven. And despite the testimony of the Bible and countless Christians through the ages that Jesus is the risen Lord and Saviour.

I believe that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe he gave credible proof by appearing to countless eye-witnesses. I believe the transformation of the known world through the spread of the message of Christ proves it. I even believe that my transformed life is another tiny proof that Jesus is alive.

And I believe this sentence, given to us as a promise and a warning:

“For God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

Most people just don’t want to stop and look up… because IF they do stop, and look up, they might just have to confront the elephant in the room. It leaves me feeling sad and burdened.

But there’s hope. All around the world, here and there, people are looking up.

People like my friend James, who wants to read about the life of Jesus as found in John’s Gospel. James isn’t a Christian yet, but he’s stopped, and now he’s looking UP… by looking down at the New Testament accounts of a man who said, “You must be ready – for the Son of Man will return at an hour that you do not expect!”

Carols by Candlelight

Community Event – open to all.

Carols by Candlelight – with readings and carols to tell the Christmas story. Refreshments afterwards.

4.30pm – 5.30pm16 Mercer Avenue – for more info, please contact us.

Hope – the longing we all share

Image courtesy of James on Unsplash

“When will it come?” says the little boy to his sister, “Christmas is AGES away…!”

Imagine the fiancee whose wedding day is months away or the soldier on a 6 month tour of duty away from family.

What are you hoping for? Waiting for? Longing for? Life is full of longing… but the longing heart can be satisfied at Christmas… at least it can be IF we grasp what Christmas really means…

You are very welcome this Sunday! Our Sunday Connect will be looking at this theme. Why not come along? Feel free to ask ANY questions – or just listen if you prefer. Nobody is asked to do anything they don’t want. We just want to have a friendly, informal time looking at important issues like this.

For more details, please get in touch.

We meet every Sunday at 16 Mercer Avenue, 4.30pm-5.30pm, with refreshments afterwards. All are welcome.

Does ANYONE have a plan?

Image courtesy of Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Is there a plan for our world? Our lives?

Somebody once said, “Knowing God is in control is the sweetest pillow upon which to lay your head.”

What do you think?

We’re meeting this Sunday to think more about this. Why not come along? Everyone welcome.

When? Sunday 10th October, 4.30-5.30pm

Where? 16 Mercer Avenue, Castle Hill

Hope in Hard Times – Sunday Garden Studies

Image courtesy of Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Starting THIS SUNDAY (13th June) – our “Garden Connect” meetings.

J.B. had it all – but lost it all overnight. Wealth. Health. Kids. All gone. In his anguish, how did he cope? The only people left around him were all useless. Where could he turn?

Your life might not be as bad as J.B.’s but you might be looking for some POSITIVE HOPE at the moment. You can find it in the God of love. Why not come along and see HOW you can find hope in hard times?

We’re meeting in our back garden – so please come down the side of the house and in the back gate. If you want any more info, please contact us via the contact form and we will gladly help you any way we can.

Thanks

HOW TO HUG SAFELY?

Image provided by Unsplash. Credits to marco-bianchetti

Why would anyone need advice on how to hug? Ah… but so many things have changed in this last 12 months haven’t they?

** Perhaps you’re excited about meeting (& hugging) loved ones?

** Maybe you’ve already been hugging (we won’t tell anyone!)

** Or are you rather scared about the coming “hug-fest?”

WE ALL WANT INTIMACY… but where can we find it?Of course, if we are blessed with a significant other, we can look to them. But is that enough? Can one other human being really take all the weight of our expectations and hopes? What if they let us down?

WOULD YOU CONSIDER ANOTHER WAY? Perhaps this past year has made you re-evaluate much of what you thought and believed. How about when it comes to a personal, loving, relationship with the Lord God who made you?

Jesus said, “Come to me… all who are weary and heavy-laden and you will find rest for your souls.”

It’s an offer that’s still open to all who are seeking. Could that be you? If you want to ask ANY qns, or just want to find out more about true Christian faith… please get in touch. We’d be delighted to meet (outside for now!) with a coffee and chat!

World Premiere – how on earth did SHE get a ticket?

Image courtesy of “I” on Unsplash – used with permission

She was the last person on earth you might expect to get a ticket to the greatest world premiere ever! And yet, she found herself FIRST in the queue.

And her story offers hope to all of us – because it turns out we can also benefit from this amazing offer.

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”

She probably wouldn’t be our first choice for front row seats at the Resurrection of Jesus – would she? She’s the sort of person we would have crossed the street to avoid, or prayed she didn’t sit next to us on the bus home. Some crazy person. Trapped in a hopeless world – a prisoner of evil forces. Definitely not “A grade” eye-witness material.

But that’s just it – Jesus doesn’t judge people by our pathetically shallow standards. First of all, he RESCUES her – which of course includes forgiveness and restoration to God. Second – he TRANSFORMS her – just see how her life was turned around after this event…

(a) She loved Jesus in his life – she was one of a small group of disciples who travelled with Jesus, sacrificing her own money as well, to finance Jesus’ travelling ministry. Why? Because Jesus had rescued her.

(b) She loved Jesus at his death – she was one of a small group of disciples who were brave enough to stand with him at the cross. When everyone was hating Jesus and his followers, Mary had courage to face the hate and stand up with Jesus. Why? Because Jesus had not given up on her.

(c) She loved Jesus in his resurrection life – she was the first person to go to the tomb. She didn’t yet know he was alive – she was going to wrap the body in linen and spices. One final act of kindness to the body of her Saviour, her Lord, her friend. But in the end, Jesus speaks her name, “Mary!” And she knows – Jesus is alive! Mary becomes the “Apostle to the Apostles,” as she goes off to tell them, “He’s alive!”

WHY DID SHE GET THIS PRIVILEGE? What was it about her that gave her first place in the queue to see Jesus?

The answer is NOT found in Mary. It’s found in the kindness of Jesus. Mary is no different to any one of us – she was trapped in sin and despair and so are we. She was helpless to escape the prison of her own life – so are we. Without Jesus healing and forgiveness, Mary would’ve been lost – same for us.

But Jesus shows kindness again and again to Mary – and so with us.

Do you want HOPE? In the face of Covid? Cancer? Career falling apart?

Do you want a FUTURE? What are you LOOKING FORWARD to?

Only the Risen Christ offers a hope and a future. And he offers it to all of us – whoever we are. He can transform our lives. He can transform yours.

Do you want tickets for the final WORLD PREMIERE? When Jesus returns, he will judge the living and the dead. He will restore all that’s pure and good. He will remove all contradicts him. He will bring all his people into his amazing new world.

You can be there. All you have to do is ask Jesus to let you in. Why not do it this Easter? Find a quiet spot and talk to Jesus in prayer. Don’t worry about getting the words right. Just be honest with him. Admit your sin. Admit that you don’t deserve his kindness. Trust in his death on the cross for sinners to save you. Ask him to forgive you.

If you do – you can have tickets to the great world premiere – when he returns.

Easter Fun 2021

Look out for Easter animals hiding around Castle Hill

To celebrate Easter and to spread some community cheer, we’re hiding painted rocks around Castle Hill. (They’ll start appearing in the week before Easter.)

Normally we’d invite you pop round to our home for extra prizes; sadly that’s not possible this year. Instead, why not post what you find on the Residents Facebook group (@castlehillebbsfleet) or other social media?

On behalf of everyone at Grace Church Ebbsfleet, may we wish you a very Happy Easter!

We have a road map!

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If we heard that phrase in 2019, we might imagine a family looking for directions, or a couple navigating through a city on holiday! Today, of course, we’re all thinking of the famous, “Road Map out of Lockdown!”

“We’re lost!”

It’s hard to imagine getting lost in 2021. Surely Google Maps and SATNAVs make getting lost impossible? All we have to do is check our smartphones and hey presto – we’re there! But despite our technology, science and vaccines, is life really all that it’s cracked up to be? When we “get back to normal” will everything be great? Or will we still face the same old issues? Why do you think that is?

The Christian message offers us profound hope. But it begins with a wake-up call – we’re lost. We’re not in a right relationship with the God who made us. We all prefer to live our life by our rules. We don’t really give God anywhere near the first place he deserves. We’re lost. Far from home. We need a road map home.

“We’re home!”

The road map isn’t made of paper or pixels – it’s a PERSON – the Lord Jesus Christ. He came from heaven to lead us home. He walked our journey through life and death. But he was never lost. He never failed. He never did anything wrong. He even paid the penalty that we deserved for our failings. And at the end, he conquered death when he rose from the grave on Easter Day.

Right now, Jesus offers a road map home – to anyone willing to ask. To anyone willing to admit, “I’m lost.” To anyone willing to trust him to be their Lord, their Guide, their Saviour. In our forthcoming Castle Hill newsletter you can read stories of people who’ve done this. They’re not perfect people (far from it) – they’re just people who’ve found that Jesus himself is the road map home.